News & Updates

22 March 2024 • High Performance

New Zealand announce five-strong team for the 2024 Para Athletics World Championships

A highly experienced New Zealand team of five athletes packed full of medal chances has been unveiled in the initial selection announcement for the 2024 Para Athletics World Championships in Kobe, Japan (17-25 May).

In what is set to be a bumper year of global international competition for the Para athletics community, Kobe represents a key staging post enroute to the Paris Paralympics (28 Aug-8 Sept).

Leading the team is in-form sprinter Danielle Aitchison who will be looking further to cement her outstanding year after winning selection in the women’s 100m T36 and 200m T36 events.

The 22-year-old Hamilton-based sprinter scalped 0.20 from the women’s 100m T36 world record, recording a blistering 13.41 at the Jennian Homes New Zealand Track & Field Championships last week and within 0.02 of the world record for the women’s 200m T36 with a stunning national record performance of 28.19 in Wellington.

As the winner of World Para 100m T36 silver medal and 200m T36 gold medal in Paris last year and currently ranked number one in the world for both events, Danielle will look to sharpen up her Paralympic Games preparations with a top-quality display in Kobe.

Holly Robinson wins selection in the women’s shot put F46 and women’s javelin F46 event in what will be her seventh appearance at the Para Athletics World Championships. The Dunedin-based thrower is the reigning Paralympic javelin F46 champion and took shot put F46 silver at the 2023 Para Athletics World Championship. A winner of four silver and one bronze medal at past Para Athletics World Championships the 29-year-old – who is currently ranked world number one in the women’s shot put F46 and world number two in the women’s javelin F46 – will be seeking to add to her collection in Kobe.

Two-time Paralympic long jump T47 champion Anna Grimaldi is selected in her speciality hunting a maiden Para world title. The Dunedin-based athlete claimed Para world long jump T47 silver medals in 2019 and 2023 – the latter achieved with a New Zealand record of 5.96m – and once again the world number two will look to be in the medal frame in Kobe.

Will Stedman has been a consistent harvester of global medals since winning 400m and 800m T36 bronze medals at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, and he will look to add to his four Para World medals in what will be his fifth appearance at the championships. Selected for the 400m T36 and long jump T36, events where he snared silver medals in both events at the 2023 Para World Athletics Championships in Paris, the 24-year-old Cantabrian will once again be hunting a spot on the dais in both events.

The initial team is rounded out by Para World 200m T64 bronze medallist Mitch Joynt, 28, who has earned his ticket for the team with two B performance standards. Mitch, the national record-holder, earned the biggest result of his career so far with bronze in Paris last July and the Aucklander – who is currently ranked number three in the world – will be looking for another positive showing in Japan.

Danielle Aitchison said: “I’ve been really pleased with my form this year and I am delighted to win selection for the Para Athletics World Championships. Kobe will be a great opportunity to test myself against the best in the world ahead of the Paris Paralympics Games later this year and I’m looking forward to showing what I can do.”

Mitch Joynt said: “I am thrilled to make another Para Athletics World Championships team. Last year (at Para worlds) was so special and winning a bronze medal literally changed my life. Every time I get to wear the Fern is an honour, so I can’t wait to do it again in Kobe.”

Team Leader Tim Driesen said: “We are delighted to announce a quality team of five athletes in our initial selection announcement for the 2024 Para Athletics World Championships. This group all won medals at the 2023 edition in Paris, and we have high hopes the team will once again impress in Kobe and represent the country with pride.”

Initial team selection for the 2024 Para Athletics World Championships in Kobe, Japan (17-25 May)


Danielle Aitchison – 100m T36 and 200m T36 – Coach: Alan McDonald

Anna Grimaldi – long jump T47 – Coach: Mikey Jacobs

Holly Robinson – javelin F46 and shot put F46 – Coach: Raylene Bates


Mitch Joynt – 200m T64 – Coach: Hamish Meacheam

Will Stedman – 400m T36 and long jump T36 – Coach: George Edwards